Nearly 600 marketing professionals recently attended the 10th annual Think INSIDE the Box (TITB) direct marketing conference in Toronto. There, industry leaders dished up the latest insights, trends and research – along with tasty helpings of creative inspiration.
This year's big story? Customer experience! From the resurgence of analog, to brain hormones, to hard data, the experts stressed that marketing is all about the customer mindset.
Do you like Sushi Pizza? Physical's new value in a digital age
"Humans are not sensible, logical creatures," declared New York Times best-selling author of The Revenge of Analog and TITB 2017 keynote speaker David Sax. "We aren't digital, we are physical beings. And we crave the real."
Marketers shouldn't fall into a false narrative of digital versus analog. It's a continuum. Sax cautions, "The world isn't binary. We don't ONLY eat sushi or pizza. Some nights we want a different meal – or even a sushi pizza! Old-school analog marketing becomes even more valuable in in a digital world."
Buying is a hormonal thing
A rapid-fire and fascinating presentation by psychology-based marketing expert Jeanette McMurtry revealed the powerful survival instincts that release the brain hormones that help to drive over 90 per cent of our decision making.
She explained the importance of assigning emotional values to your products and brand to better engage the psychology of choice. And how this works for emotional and non-emotional products.
Apple's skill at eliciting these neurotransmitters is one reason why iPhone users are so loyal, release after release. This, according to McMurtry, is despite studies that show that competitor Samsung's phones are better in 8 out of the 10 categories that matter to consumers.
The Even/Over formula is the best marketing strategy
A third of all marketing budgets now go towards technology. In the rush to adopt shiny, new marketing technologies, it's easy to lose sight of the real marketing goal, your customers.
"Strategy," says marketing expert John Ounpuu, (President, Modern Craft), "is the tool that helps businesses focus on what counts." A great strategy calls for tough choices – choosing one good thing, even over this other good thing." Netflix, for example, found success by focusing on growth over revenue for many years. All its company efforts were measured against whether they supported that growth strategy.
Customer experience, not points, builds loyalty
Loyalty and data experts Nicole Scavuzzo, VP of Global Guest Recognition and Insight, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Shelly Anwyll, VP of Retail Solutions, DATA Communications Management, have the hard evidence to prove that the customer's experience, not the points' card, is loyalty's secret sauce.
Starbucks, despite strong competition has more than doubled brand loyalty in the last decade. It did so by paying attention to its customers' journey – especially that all-important first coffee of the day, as Anywll pointed out. The company's trailblazing mobile app seamlessly integrates advance ordering, loyalty points, payment, and special offers.
We're producing art, not ads
Chief Marketing Officer, St. Joseph Communications', Michael Chase took his audience through some of the year's most creative, innovative marketing campaigns – ones where print and digital engage holistically.
One crowd favourite was Burger King's Valentine's campaign. Playing with the notion of the Kids Meal, this meal for two came in a sexy black and purple box and – in addition to burgers, fries and beer for two – also came with a very adult toy!
3 things you probably don't know about marketing to millennials
Millennial customers are surprisingly like their great-grandparents at key points along the buying journey Luc Durand, President of Ipsos Quebec, shared a new study on generational marketing. The results revealed that millennials are:
- Careful, price-conscious shoppers who research by reading reviews, price comparing and talking to their friends before making a purchase.
- Crazy for coupons. They're increasingly interested in getting and using them.
- Keen on physical experiences. Younger millennials especially prefer to make their purchases in brick and mortar stores.
You don't need big data, you need smart data
A panel of senior agency and marketing executives took a hard look at the challenges of running integrated marketing campaigns. One of the biggest issues on the table is data.
While the panel agreed that figuring out which data is meaningful is crucial, they had different approaches on how to uncover the most important data touch points.
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